Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler, Vella Lovell, Myra Lucretia Taylor.
Director: Michael Showalter
Screenplay: Emily V. Gordon, & Kumail Nanjiani.
A coma induced rom-com—no not that one, but interestingly still set in Chicago and how your family can fall in love with the person you didn't even realise was around while you were in the coma... While While You Were Sleeping can be read as creepy, The Big Sick gets away with just being sadly awkward and kind of understandable within the reality of the situation. The one thing it doesn't get away with is the fact that Emily (Zoe Kazan) kind of has very little character which is randomly surprising as this film was written by Emily and Kumail themselves.
But this is a welcome refresher on the rom-com genre that has sadly been forgotten in the past decade. And watching this film I can't really understand why it has disappeared. The stakes are so pure yet so devastating; losing out on a life with the person you love due to external forces coming between this tragic couple. Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) as our romantic lead is brilliant. He becomes the guy you want to follow, and need to see him succeed in what he wants out of life while still sometimes coming off as a bit of a dick, which is fine because its realistic. He is the everyday man in this situation, trying to balance work life, love life, and frustratingly family life.
What takes this film to another level is the appearance of Emily's parents within the middle act played beautifully well by Holly Hunter & Ray Romano. These two with Kumail are such a pleasure as they tread their way through the confusing waters of parental fear of losing their child while also having the tag along ex-boyfriend wanting to be part of this 'grieving' process.
A simply enjoyable, mildly flawed film that breaths air back into the rom-com genre and proof that coma rom-coms still have a place in our filmic landscape.